The End Of An Era: Death Sets Sail

Robin Stevens is MEAN.

Name: Death Sets Sail

Author: Robin Stevens

Published: 2020

Death Sets Sail: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery: Stevens,  Robin: Books

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are in Egypt, where they are taking a cruise along the Nile. They are hoping to see some ancient temples and a mummy or two; what they get, instead, is murder. 

Also travelling on the SS Hatshepsut is a mysterious society called the Breath of Life: a group of genteel English ladies and gentlemen, who believe themselves to be reincarnations of the ancient pharaohs. Three days into the cruise, their leader, Theodora Miller, is found dead in her cabin, stabbed during the night. It soon becomes clear to Daisy and Hazel that Theodora’s timid daughter, Hephzibah, who is prone to sleepwalking, is being framed. And within the society, everyone has a reason to want Theodora dead….

Daisy and Hazel leap into action and begin to investigate their most difficult case yet. But there is danger all around, and only one of the Detective Society will make it home alive….

I can’t believe ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ over! This is a series I’ve been following for years and it was a very weird feeling that this was the last time I’d read about Daisy and Hazel’s adventures. Although, I’m sure one of them will pop up again somewhere… although not together becuase only one of the Detective Society will make it home alive.

I’d heard rumours about one of them dying, but it hadn’t properly hit me until I read my copy’s blurb. I understood why Robin Stevens would do it as a dramatic finale technique, but she is MEAN. I was really distraught; she kept wringing it out and making someone make offhand comments on how they want to live forever. It was the best things she’s ever written.

“All of this running around, disrupting the other passengers – that is not how to behave! You girls are trouble. You are not – what’s the word – ladylike.”

– A quote that made me laugh out loud… I was glad Stevens finally slipped that in!

Originally, I was scared I’d outgrown the series, but I was sucked in immediatly. One of the many things I loved was how it was still complictated – no dumbing down for younger audiences. It highlights topics like the westernisation of Middle East that aren’t normally covered in kids books. The actual murder wasn’t the cleverest of the series, but it had one of the best settings and characters.

It was quite static. There was a deadline and a sense of urgency; most of the detecting happened within a few hours, not weeks like in most others. A lot of the explaining/deducing was just dialogue. This wasn’t a problem, it was just a different format to the other mysteries.


“Magic might not be real, but murderers certainly are. And murderers do not tend to stop until someone stops them.” 

– Death Sets Sail
The Ministry of Unladylike Activity – Robin Stevens

Everyone was back together! I LOVED how Stevens managed to bring baisically every character we’ve ever met. I’m smiling just typing this 🙂 Family gets pushed aside way too much in books soit was amazing what a big feature it was: Mr Wong was hilarious and just a really strong male figure in Hazel’s life. I love how we’ve watched their relationship with each other and detecting develop throughout the books. May was like a breath of fresh air and I have high hope for her series (see the fuzzy image I pulled off the internet for more info). Also, there was loads of references to the other books, which was also phenominal (I couldn’t be bothered to read them all again oops… but I still knew they were there!).

The name felt a little too close to comfort. Obviously, there can be mysteries set on the Nile – but Hazel literally called her casebook ‘Death On The Nile’. Although that is a vague title and I guess Christie can’t copyright it forever. I’m not sure what I feel about that?

*slight spoiler – I would really recommend this book so don’t peek if you haven’t read it! (For a spoiler free review, press the button marked ‘like’ 😉 )

Honestly, it hadn’t crossed my mind that she was still alive. I only figured it out because whilst Hazel’s grief gave me goosebumps, it was quick and not at all as in-depth as if her best friend had died. Plus, it’s a children’s series. I would have preferred a more final ending ending as the last words left it quite open? Anyway. Death Sets Sail was one of the most thrilling books I’ve read in a while and a perfect end to a great series.

(But you know what would be even better? No end. Hey, if you see this Robin Stevens, it was written by your future beta for book ten! Pleassseeeee…)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was one of the books I read for the Summer Reading Challenge I set myself this year! Summer might be nearly over but I still have a few categories left. Plus, it officially ends on 21st September. This ticked the box for ‘2020 arrival’ – although I couldn’t originally decide between this and Harrow the Ninth. I’ve gone for that for the ‘space’ theme, and it’ll be my next recview, so keep an eye out for that 🙂

Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager (and a Hufflepuff) from Manchester. I like oversized jumpers, music that isn't on the radio anymore and books. Pretty much any book I can get my hands on but my favourites are Young Adult, fantasy and science fiction. One day, I decided to share some of my opinions on some great - and not so great - books to people around the world. And here it is! I really enjoy it and I hope you do too. The aim is hundreds and thousands of book reviews (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite up to that. Yet.

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